Terrorists Strike Benazir Bhutto In Karachi
In another instance of terror attacks meant to destabilize Pakistani society, suicide bombers allegedly working for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban attacked the convoy of Benazir Bhutto as she reentered Karachi after eight years in exile.
Reports today are that 136 died and about 250 were injured in the attempts by at least four extremist Muslim assailants to murder Bhutto amid rapturous welcoming crowds.
Fortunately, the former Pakistani prime minister, who had been riding on top of an armored truck before the bombings occurred, was inside the truck and protected at the moment of the attack. Security agents quickly removed her, unhurt, to safety.
Bhutto today assailed the terrorists and again vowed she would work to destroy their influence in Pakistan. But, shaken by the attack, she also suggested that elements of the government sympathetic to the terrorists might have somehow facilitated their plot. It is not the first suggestion that Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf does not fully control his own government.
The fact is that until Osama bin Laden and his followers are terminated, they will continue their attempts to remove in nuclear-armed Pakistan every semblance of civilized order. Their aim is to take over both Pakistan and its nuclear weapons, and this would be such a dire threat to the world that they must be stopped no matter what the cost.
This is what foes of War On Terror in Washington and elsewhere do not understand: This is a war to the finish, and not until Al-Qaeda and its allies in the Muslim world are finished will the world be safe. Fortunately, these are such murderous, barbaric organizations that one day they may implode. We have already seen in Iraq how they have lost, through their brutal practices, the allegiance of even most of their fellow-Sunnis. Now that Al-Qaeda has begun to lose in Iraq, it may shift the battle to Pakistan, as a more promising locale.
That said, it is an embarrassment for the Musharraf regime that its security forces could not or would not better protect the Bhutto convoy. What almost happened to Bhutto was reminiscent of the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in the Philippines the very day that he returned to that country from exile.
One of the complicating factors in Pakistan, like many Muslim countries, is that duplicity is everywhere. In Pakistan, from even before the murder of the American journalist Daniel Pearl, there have been a whole host of questions as to just who is on whose side. Pakistani intelligence is strongly permeated with sympathies for the terrorists, nuclear engineers reach their own deals with foreign countries, Musharaff and Bhutto command conflicting loyalties. It is a country that is barely organized and mostly incapable of ruling itself.
The Bhutto caravan last night was headed for the Muhammed Jinnah Memorial, which honors the devious politician who insisted on the partition of India in the first place, a 1947 separation that was accompanied by internecine strife that killed a million people and set up in the case of Pakistan a fundamentally unstable state, while leaving more than 100 million Muslims behind to destabilize India. It would have been better to force the Muslims to accept Hindu control throughout the subcontinent.
The whole region continues to pay the price of the haste of the British to give this region independence. As in the Holy Land, the British left a mess behind.